Sunday, February 20, 2011
The pea brush is in
Liam and I went to the "flower store" (garden center) and got him kid-sized gardening gloves. He is so proud to pull weeds, use the big loppers to cut the pea brush (with help and close watching, of course), and put the brush in the ground. He is very excited about his new gloves "just like mommy's," except mine don't have race cars or some kind of creature from the Toy Story franchise on them, thank God. What is it with kids stuff, why is it (almost) all the way it is? We also got some primrose and pansies for the pots, and a small shamrock plant for inside. Liam carefully supervised the placement of each one, and then watered them within an inch of their lives.
Somehow I have begun to sort through books. This is not something I planned to do, it just started. I think Will must have had 500 books, maybe more. I'm not great at these kinds of estimates. Four or five tall, wide bookcases full, at least. This on top of my books. Even thought I managed to weed through the duplicates (there were many) when we combined households, there are still lots of books in every room. This isn't a bad thing, of course, but they're not particularly organized in any way. And except for the obvious stuff there's a lot I don't even really know what's there.
It's a hard thing and sad. Will resisted sending any book out of the house, under any circumstance. But, there is just so much that I'm not sure I want. The entire canon of what I think of as grim, despondent, somewhat disturbing fiction. . .everything by Delillo, everything by Chuck Palahniuk, Cormac McCarthy, those really sad Danish authors who's names I can't spell. Everything by that guy who wrote Trainspotting. And more and more I've never heard of but suspect by looking that it would be grim. Or worse. And it goes one from there. A giant, stack of Murakami. A giant stack of Pynchon. A shelf and more of Augustes Burroughs. David Foster Wallace. Massive amounts of Kafka. Everything by John Irving. David Eggers. And so, so much more. Half undone now and spread over tables and boxes all over the house. Dusty.
The thing is, I don't want to read grim, disturbing fiction. I can barely make it through a New Yorker every once in a while. Any time soon, I'm unlikely to get to any more Delillo than I've already read, let along any more Pynchon. (I know they are not all grim; and maybe some not grim at all. Please don't argue, the point is I'm not going to read them. Judge me if it makes you feel better.) But, but I think, should I save them? Organize them somehow so when Liam is trying to figure out who his father was, maybe they'll offer some clue, somehow unlock something I can't explain. Something more than: he was smart, he read things---lots of things---and he thought about them. Liked talk about them and make connections. Fully half have little slips of paper, post-it notes, this or that marking where he was reading when he last set it down. He read and re-read. (Aside from being overwhelmed with working full time, Liam, and helping Will, one of the reasons I pretty much have stopped reading is I could always count on him to have one or two things going at once, and to talk about them with me.)
As much as I had one, that was my plan: get the books undercontrol and put them somewhere. But now, who knows. They are lose in the house, I don't know where they'll land.